Thursday, 28 February 2013

Easter bark

Everyone loves chocolate bark. Here is a great Easter version. Add your favourite chocolates and candies to make this bark your own!

2lb. ~ white chocolate chips

2 Gel-based Easter colored Dyes
Your favorite pastel colored Candy
1 ~ Large Bowl

4 ~ Small Bowls

1.  Take some aluminum foil and wrap a cookie sheet.

2.  In a large bowl, melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave. Heat in 30-second intervals. After each interval stir the chocolate chips. Be VERY careful not to overheat the chocolate chips or they will clump.

3.  Choose two dye colors. Seperate two large spoonfuls of the melted white chocolate into each of the small bowls. Add your desired color to each bowl.

4.   Pour the remaining melted white chocolate out onto the foil-lined baking sheet and spread in an even layer.

5.  Spoon out all the colored white chocolate randomly over the white chocolate layer. Use a spoon, knife or spatula to mix through the white chocolate.

6.  Take your desired Easter/pastel colored candy over the chocolate. Make sure to press the candy into the chocolate so it is secure in the chocolate. You can add anything to bark, pretzel pieces, peanuts and raisins as well as your Easter candy. Have some fun with it.

7.  Place the baking sheet in the freezer until completely hardened, approximately 15-30 mins

8.  Break into pieces. Bark is usually broken into uneven pieces.

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Easter Snack

There is nothing like snacks on a holiday. A great snack for Easter afternoon which will have a little bit of everything for everyone. Salty and Sweet.

4 Cups ~ Pretzel sticks

2 Cups ~ Salted peanuts

2 Cups ~ Raisins

2 Cups ~ Pastel coloured M&M's

1.  Place all items in a large bowl and mix until blended. 

Now after straining over this hard recipe for hours in the kitchen ;-) bring the bowl where ever your family is gathered and sit down and enjoy the snack with everyone. In the highly unlikely event that there is leftovers, place in an airtight container until someone has the munchies again.

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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Cornflake Coconut Easter Egg Truffles

Coconut, Corn Flakes, Cream Cheese...Mmmmm.  I have found a lot of Easter recipes in the past few years and boy do these puppies intrigue me. They look so yummy, I can't wait to try them out.

12 oz

~ Corn Flakes
1× 8 oz pkg ~ Cream Cheese

1 Tbsp  ~ Vanilla

¼ cup ~ Honey

¼ cup ~ Coconut Cream

2 tsp ~ Coconut Extract

¼ cup ~ Coconut Flakes

1 tsp ~ Lime Juice
½ cup ~ Milk

Milk and or white chocolate chips

Food colouring

1.  In a food processor, blend the corn flakes until they are a fine powder then add the coconut flakes. Next add the cream cheese, honey, vanilla, coconut cream, milk and lime juice. Blend until fully incorporated. The consistency will be almost cookie dough.

2.  Place on wax paper and using a cookie scoop, scoop dough into balls then hand shape into eggs. Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
When all the eggs are shaped (about 30), place in the freezer for approximately 1 hour.
Melt white and or milk chocolate candy coating chips in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave in 30 sec increments stirring after each time. If the consistency is too thick, add a cap full of vegetable oil.

3.  Using a fork, dip the cold truffles in the chocolate and replace on the wax paper to harden.
You may decorate anyway you choose. A simple way would be to sprinkle with cupcake sprinkles after dipping before the chocolate hardens. Use more white chocolate and add food colouring and more vegetable oil to make it quite runny. Then drizzled it over the hardened eggs.
Place in mini cupcake liners to serve. Makes 30 truffles

Helpful Tips:
If you are not a fan of coconut, you may use 1 cup of peanut butter, 1/4 cup honey, 1 package of cream cheese and 1 tsp of salt to the Corn Flakes to make peanut butter truffles.

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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Did I mention my two favourite things are chocolate and peanut butter? lol When they are combined, they can become my one favourite thing most of all...PEANUT BUTTER CUPS!! I love love love peanut butter cups and I have found this recipe for homemade ones. Oh boy is my waistline in trouble ;-)

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

1 cup ~ creamy peanut butter

¼ cup ~ unsalted butter

¼ cup ~ light brown sugar

1¼ cup ~ powdered sugar
4 cups ~ milk chocolate chips (two 11.5-oz bags)
¼ cup ~ vegetable shortening

1.  Line a mini-muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2.  In a medium saucepan, combine peanut butter, butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture is completely melted and starting to bubble a little. Remove from the heat, add the powdered sugar a ¼ cup at a time, stirring until completely combined with the peanut butter mixture. Set aside and let cool.

3.  Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together in the microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, until completely melted, stirring after each increment.

4.  Using a small cookie scoop or a couple of teaspoons, spoon melted chocolate into the bottom of each lined muffin cup.

5.  Use a heaping teaspoon to scoop out the peanut butter mixture. Roll it into a ball, and then flatten it slightly into a disk. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Once finished with all of the peanut butter mixture, refrigerate both the muffin tins and the peanut butter patties for about 30 minutes.

6.  Place a peanut butter patty on top of each chocolate-lined muffin tin. Then use a scoop or spoon to add more melted chocolate on top and around each peanut butter patty. (If the melted chocolate firmed up, just pop it back into the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds or so to re-melt.)

7.  Refrigerate again for 30 minutes, then they're ready to serve! Store in the refrigerator or freezer. You can keep at room temperature in an airtight container if you're going to serve them the same day, but they'll start to get soft if not at cool room temperature.

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Peanut Butter Brownie Cups

This recipe I found combines two of my favourite things, especially when they are combined together =) Peanut Butter and Chocolate!!! Yum! I can't wait to eat these!
Peanut Butter Brownie Cups

1 box ~ of your favorite brownie mix
1/2 cup ~ peanut butter chips

1/2 cup ~ semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup ~ creamy peanut butter

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease 40 mini-muffin cups.

2.  Prepare boxed brownie mix as directed. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups (about 1 heaping teaspoon). Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top is set and a toothpick inserted into center comes out slightly wet.
3.  After brownies are out of the oven, wait for centers to fall. This will happen upon cooling. If not then tap the centers with the back of a teaspoon to make a hole for the peanut butter.

4.  Place peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds then stir. While brownies are still warm spoon about half a teaspoon of peanut butter into the center of each brownie. Top with semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.
5.  Cool completely in pan.

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Saturday, 23 February 2013

Terrific Toffee

This is good stuff. Perhaps you've tried or at least seen it before.  I think the salt on the crisp crackers combined with the rich, semi-sweet chocolate and crunchy, buttery toffee makes for the perfect candy, any minute of any day of any month of any year. It's probably best to save it for the holidays, however, unless you want to add some more junk to your trunk. Soooo good!

Terrific Toffee

1 cup unsalted butter (no margarine allowed)

1 cup brown sugar, packed tightly
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
40 saltine crackers

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2.  Line a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan or a 12x17-inch cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Lay a flat layer of crackers out on the foil.

3.   Melt the sugar and butter until a boil is reached. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5-6 minutes or until mixture is thickened and sugar is completely dissolved. Pour this mixture over the crackers and spread to coat evenly.

4.   Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the toffee becomes bubbly.

5.   After removing the pan from the oven, let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle on the chocolate chips, let them soften and melt, and then spread them into an even layer. (You can add nuts, cracker crumbs, or whatever else floats your boat at this point.)

6.   Let cool and, if desired to speed up the process , refrigerate until hardened. Break into pieces to the size of your choice.

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Hot Cross Buns

Nothing says Easter and nothing says yum like Hot Cross Buns. Enjoy these beauties the day they are made or enjoy the next day by warming them up for a few seconds in the microwave.

Hot Cross Buns

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 cup barely warm milk
1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
Zest of 1 orange

3/4 cup raisins

3 cups bread flour (all-purpose will also work)

1 egg white

1 tablespoon milk

Cream Cheese Icing

1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1.  In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the barely warm milk and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the honey, salt, and egg. Stir until blended. Mix in the orange zest and raisins. Add 3 cups of flour and mix until the dough comes together. If using a standing mixer, knead the dough with the dough attachment for 5-7 minutes, or until elastic. If not, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until soft and elastic (about 8 minutes), adding more flour to keep the dough from sticking if necessary. Do not add too much flour, however—this will result in a denser bun. The dough will become more workable the longer you knead.

2.  Transfer the kneaded dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm area until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.
Punch dough down, divide into 12 equal portions, and shape each portion into a round ball. Place in a pan (or on baking sheets) coated lightly with cooking spray. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for another 20 minutes.

3.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

4.  In a small bowl, combine the egg white and 1 tablespoon milk. Brush over the rolls. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature before icing.


5.  In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Place icing into a small plastic bag, cut off the tip, and pipe crosses on the top of the buns.

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No Bake Irish Whiskey Balls

Another fun 'adult' treat for St. Patricks day!

No Bake Irish Whiskey Balls

1 cup ~ white chocolate chips

2 cups ~ vanilla wafer cookies
1/2 cup~  Irish whiskey
2 cups ~ powdered sugar

1 tsp ~ corn syrup

1 1/2 cups~  pistachios
1 cup ~ granulated sugar

Green food colouring (optional)

1.  Grind together white chocolate chips and vanilla wafers in a food processor. Add powdered sugar and process until combined. Add the whiskey and corn syrup and process until crumbs form a mass. Add pistachios and pulse until nuts are coarsely chopped and throughout mixture. Optional: Add a drop or two of green food coloring to give the balls a St. Patrick’s Day holiday colour.

2.  Form 1-inch balls. Place sugar in a shallow bowl and roll balls in sugar. Store in wax paper-lined airtight container in a cool dry place. Let balls sit for a few days before eating for best results.

Makes approx 48 balls.

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Easter Bunny Biscuits

So hard sometimes to keep kids interested in food. Young kids can help assemble the eyes noses and whiskers, which will help them be more excited to see the finished product on their plate for a snack with some peanut butter and fruit.     

 Easter Bunny Biscuits

2 pkgs. (8 ct. each) ~ Country Style Biscuits

16 ~ dried raisins

8 ~ dried cranberries 

Slivered Almonds

1 tbsp. ~ butter, melted

2 tbsp. ~ honey, warmed

1. Preheat your oven to the temperature specified on your biscuits' packaging.  

 2. To make your bunny biscuits, open the first biscuit package and arrange them on a baking sheet, leaving plenty of room between each one.    

3. Open the other package of biscuits and cut each one in half. Each half-biscuit will be one "ear." Attach two ears to each single biscuit to make the bunny head. Be sure they stick well so they will stay attached.    

4. Make a bunny face on each biscuit using raisins for eyes, dried cranberries for nose, and slivered almonds for the whiskers.  

5. Bake according to the package directions until golden and risen.  

6. Combine honey and butter in a small bowl and brush your bunny biscuits lightly, being careful not to dislodge your bunnies' facial features!  
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Easter Bird

Fun project to make with your kids for Easter. This will make 2 'birds'

Easter Bird

1/2 cup ~ shredded coconut

1/4 cup ~ white chocolate chips

1 ~ Twinkie

Chocolate sprinkles

Orange frosting

2 ~ candy lemon slices

1.  To make a pair of nests, first spread 1/2 cup of shredded coconut on a cookie sheet and toast it under a broiler until golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove the coconut from the oven, stir it, then toast it for 30 seconds more. Repeat as needed until all of the coconut is evenly toasted, then let it cool.

2.  Next, melt 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips in a double boiler according to the package directions. Remove the pan from the heat (keep the chocolate over the warm water) and stir in the coconut.

3.  For the nestlings, lay a Twinkie flat on your work surface and cut it in half. Press 2 chocolate sprinkles into each half for eyes and pipe on orange frosting beaks. Let the beaks set a bit, then stand the chicks upright on waxed paper and spoon the warm coconut mixture around them, shaping it into rings. Lastly, use frosting to stick on trimmed candy lemon slices for wings.


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Friday, 22 February 2013

Irish Cream Swirl Brownies

This St. Patrick's Day is gonna be sweet!

Irish Cream swirl Brownies

1 pkg (18 to 20 oz) ~  fudge brownie mix

1 tsp ~ Pure Vanilla Extract

1 pkg (8 oz) ~ cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup ~ sugar

2 Tbsp ~ flour

1/4 cup ~ Irish cream liqueur

1 ~ egg

1/4 tsp ~ Green Food Color


1.  Prepare brownie mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Reserve one cup batter. Spread remaining batter in greased 9-inch square baking pan.

2.  Beat cream cheese, flour and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add Irish cream liqueur, egg and food color; beat until well blended. Pour over brownie layer in pan. Drop reserved one cup batter by the spoonful over cream cheese layer. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.

3.  Bake as directed on package for 9-inch square baking pan. Cool in pan.

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Thursday, 21 February 2013

St. Patty's cake pops

Another festive recipe for St. Patty's day. Cake pops are the new big thing at parties. They are fun for kids to eat and decorate. The green cake inside is fun too!


St. Patty's cake pops 

Makes 4 dozen cake pops

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) ~ yellow cake mix

2 tsp ~ Green Food Colour

3/4 cup ~ marshmallow creme

1 bag (14 ounces) ~ white confectionary coating wafers

Lollipop sticks

Green sprinkles (optional)

1.  Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding food color. Bake as directed on package for 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

2.  Crumble cake into large bowl. Add marshmallow creme; mix until well blended. Shape into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate two hours.

3.  Melt coating wafers as directed on package. For each cake pop, dip 1/2-inch of lollipop stick into melted coating. Insert dipped end of lollipop stick halfway into cake ball. Let stand until coating is set. Dip each cake pop into melted coating. Shake gently to remove excess coating. Sprinkle or roll cake pops in green sprinkles, if desired.

4.  Place cake pops in Styrofoam blocks. Let stand until coating is set.

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Chocolate Beer Cupcakes With Irish Whiskey Filling And Irish Cream Icing

1.  Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

2.  Bring Irish stout beer and 1 cup butter to a boil in a saucepan and set aside until butter has melted, stirring occasionally. Mix in cocoa powder until smooth.

3.  Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

4.  Beat eggs with sour cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low until well combined. Slowly beat in the beer mixture, then the flour mixture; beat until the batter is smooth.

5.  Divide batter between the prepared cupcake cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full.

6.  Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 17 minutes.

7.  Cool the cupcakes completely. Cut cores out of the center of each cupcake with a sharp paring knife. Discard cores.

8.  Bring cream to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat; stir in bittersweet chocolate until melted.

9.  Mix in 2 tablespoons butter and Irish whiskey until butter is melted; let mixture cool to room temperature. Filling will thicken as it cools.

10.  Spoon the filling into the cored cupcakes.

For frosting, whip 1/2 cup butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

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Luck O' The Irish Bars

Just in time to prep for St. Patty's Day! These decadent treats will be fun dessert for the whole family on March 17th. Make an extra batch to bring into work, your co-workers will love you for it!

Luck O' the Irish Bars

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

2.  Melt the unsweetened chocolate in a cup or small bowl in the microwave. Stir at 15 second intervals until chocolate is smooth. Allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a large bowl, and stir in the margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Stir in the flour just until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and spread evenly.

3.  Bake in the preheated oven until the surface appears dry and the sides are beginning to pull away from the edges of the pan, 20 to 25 minutes. The brownies may look more like cake and may jiggle slightly in the center- this is normal. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan set over a wire rack.

4.  To make the middle layer, beat 1/2 cup of butter with confectioners' sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Add milk as needed to get a spreadable consistency. Stir in the peppermint extract and green food coloring. Spread this over the cooled pan of brownies. Refrigerate for 30 minutes

5.  In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips with the butter until melted. Stir every 20 seconds until chocolate is smooth. Stir in vanilla and then pour over the chilled brownies and quickly spread to cover the surface. Cool again until firm, about 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.
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Homemade Caramel Corn

Caramel corn, an all time favourite of mine. I have had it homemade before but I have never made it myself. I was going to try it this past Christmas and well, I wanted to try too much this past Christmas and didn't end up making it. Hopefully soon I will get to try and indulge in the luxury of homemade Caramel Corn

Homemade Caramel Corn

12 cups popped popcorn (either stove-top or microwave is fine)

1 cup brown sugar (light or brown)

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of a large roasting pan or two baking sheets with greased foil. Place popcorn in a large heat-proof mixing bowl; set aside.

2.   Meanwhile, melt the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Pour over the popcorn and stir to coat.

3.  Spread the coated popcorn evenly onto the lined roasting pan or baking sheets. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. It will become crispy within a few minutes out of the oven.

Break into chunks and serve immediately, or store in a ziplock bag for a couple of days.

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Tiramisu Brownie Bites

Here is a recipe for an easy bite-sized chocolate dessert that looks like it will wow all of your friends and family. The recipe says that Tiramisu Brownie Bites can be made ahead of time and filled just before you need to serve them. A big taste in a small bite!  

Tiramisu Brownie Bites

1 box devil’s food cake mix

1/2 c ~ sour cream

2 ~ eggs

2 tbsp.~ Instant coffee granules

2 tbsp. ~ water

1/3 cup ~ coffee liqueur**

Filling & Topping
1 1/2 cups ~ thawed frozen whipped topping

8 oz. ~ cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup ~ powdered sugar

2 tsp. ~ vanilla extract

unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Combine cake mix, sour cream, egg, coffee granules and water. Mix together. Batter will be really thick.

3.  Divide evenly among cups

4.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until wooden toothpick test is clean.

5.  Remove cakes from oven and press tops with lightly floured mini-tart shaper to make slight indentations. If you do not own a tart shaper, the top of a wine stopper works great!

6.  Cool for a few minutes & remove from pan to wire rack.

      7.  Brush tops with coffee liqueur*** and cool completely. (If you do not have coffee liqueur, follow the recipe for the imitation non-alcoholic version)
 8.  Place whipped topping into a large, resealable plastic bag; secure and set aside. Trim corners of both plastic bags.

 9.  First pipe the cheese filling over cakes, then pipe whipped topping over filling. Dust with cocoa powder, if desired.

  **Coffee Liquer Substitution: 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tbsp. coffee granules, 1 tsp. rum extract. This makes more than you will actually need. Combine all in a glass bowl and microwave 1-2 minutes and let cool.   


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